player? (James Isherwood, London)
Yes, when I was banned after Crystal Palace. Not because of what happened. But because I really felt I had all the people, all the fans, behind me. In those periods, everything you have can break down. What I did was not very nice. I didn’t play for nine months and I had to pay some fines, but it was more important that the people who had followed me before that incident still supported me. It was very important to me that the fans did.
What was it like for you during the time of your suspension? (Ross Saunders, Northamptonshire)
As I said before, when you are successful it is easy. It’s only when you are in real difficulty that you get to know the people around you. When you are famous and doing well, everybody is your friend. When you are not, some leave. That is why I think the young players coming through today need to have a good family around them. You need that, and good friends to warn you of how it will be when your career is over, to say ‘when your career is over, it will be like this. Be careful’. You have to prepare yourself for this kind of period because sometimes players become a bit depressed after their careers have finished. But, me, I knew that. I was prepared for that.